December 04, 2007


Caption: RX Sig. A prescription written by Freud himself. His contemporaries probably couldn't read it either.

Aside from links and comments about current events, the theme for this week's Goat Rope is psychology.

El Cabrero can still remember stumbling onto the subject in high school through the writings of Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung (I can't remember which came first). At the time, I found the text and pictures of Jung et al's Man and His Symbols intoxicating with all the talk about the collective unconscious and its archetypes.

And as for Sig, after plowing through The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, nothing ever looked the same. That was the work where he discussed what we now call "Freudian" slips of the tongue, mistaken actions, "forgetting," and other actions in which unconscious thoughts and emotions expressed themselves.

If you read about the early history of the psychoanalytic movement, three names are prominent. Aside from Sig and Jung, the Other Guy was Alfred Adler, who is by far the least known. Ironically, Adler's ideas have probably held up better in psychological circles than either of the others. He can be viewed as one of the grandparents of contemporary cognitive psychology and related forms of therapy.

I became interested enough to give Adler a whirl recently after discovering that his approach to psychology is an influence in my daughter La Cabrita's graduate psychology program. Goat Rope verdict: Dude ain't bad.

More about Adler tomorrow--same Bat time, same Bat channel.

WILL IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? US intelligence agencies say that Iran abandoned its quest for nuclear weapons years ago. But then this administration has never allowed facts to get in the way of an unnecessary war.

A NICE IDEA.Bush administration cutbacks in veterans' services have made it hard for some vets to call home when they receive treatment at VA facilities. Veterans for Peace is urging people to buy phone cards for veterans this holiday season.

STOP THE PRESSES. Chimpanzees are better at math than you may think.

FIGHTING FOR SICK DAYS. Allied groups yesterday announced a drive to require paid sick days for workers at WV businesses employing 25 or more people. SEIU is taking the lead, but many other organizations have signed on as well.

WV ONES TO WATCH. A lot of other economic justice issues are percolating in El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia these days. Here's an AP item by Lawrence Messina about concerns over the privatization of the workers' compensation system. Also, on a positive note, an interim legislative committee has supported what labor supporters call the Worker Freedom Bill, which would prohibit employers from requiring workers to attend meetings where they pusy their views on unions, religion, or politics.

PITFALLS OF PERFECTIONISM. Speaking of psychology, this one from the NY Times is interesting.

ON A RELATED NOTE, a mental health study of Katrina survivors finds it has a continuing impact.


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